Week 13 – Oklahoma State at Oklahoma

Posted Nov 23, 2012

Week 13 Fearless Prediction – Oklahoma State at Oklahoma

Oklahoma State (7-3) at Oklahoma (8-2) Nov. 24, 3:30, ESPN

Here's The Deal: All of a sudden, the Bedlam rivalry took a bit twist and turn last year. In what seemed like it should've been a strong enough and decisive enough 44-10 win to curry the favor of the voters to get into the BCS championship, Oklahoma State came up with the dominant performance it needed to have in order to make a huge statement. Of course, Alabama got the nod and the Cowboys ended up winning the Fiesta, but it was a big moment in a series defined by OU wins and OSU upsets.

This year, a Cowboy win might actually signal a bit of a shift. A win wouldn't mean OSU all of a sudden has the better program, but considering the previous victory before last year was 2002, back-to-back wins in what's supposed to be a rebuilding year could signal a trend – especially considering the Sooners, really, really need the win.

And now, so does Oklahoma State.

With Texas losing to TCU, if Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma, and Texas beats Kansas State, there will be a three-way tie for the Big 12 title, with the Wildcats going to the Fiesta thanks to wins over the Sooner and Cowboys. Even so, OSU would get to technically print up Big 12 Champion t-shirts. However, if Oklahoma wins and beats TCU next week, it'll go to the Fiesta with a Texas victory over KSU as the outright champion. At the very least for the Sooners, a win and a 10-2 record might lock up an at-large BCS appearance.

The Cowboys are coming in on a two game winning streak and winners of five of their last six games. They struggled with Kansas, but their last four wins have been dominant, double-digit blowouts. Meanwhile, Oklahoma is coming off a firefight with West Virginia and a shaky victory over Baylor, but the offense is humming with Landry Jones and the passing game blowing up at just the right time.

It's the Big 12's tone-setter, and it should be a wild and crazy shootout. It'll be bedlam.

Why Oklahoma State Might Win: What happened to the Oklahoma defense? Actually, West Virginia's passing game happened to the Oklahoma defense last week, getting destroyed for 778 yards of total offense, but before that, the run D surprisingly struggled against Baylor and Notre Dame and Kansas each had success on the ground, powering away when needed. Oklahoma State appears to have found its groove at just the right time, showing excellent balance last week against Texas Tech in the dominant victory, while also proving it could keep up in a firefight, blowing up West Virginia by taking advantage of every opportunity. The OU secondary wasn't necessarily exposed by the Mountaineers last week, but they showed enough holes to have to be concerned first and foremost about the OSU passing attack across the middle of the field. Meanwhile, the Cowboys should be able to move the chains and control the tempo early on with the ground game – they have a big advantage with an O line that's playing as well as any in the Big 12.

Why Oklahoma Might Win: The Sooner passing game should be in for a huge day. Oklahoma State can throw and can come up with big plays all over the field, but OU is more explosive and it's more consistent with 300 yards or more in every Big 12 game except for the wins over Texas Tech and Baylor. Going against West Virginia is hardly a good indication of how good a passing game is, but Landry Jones and the attack were able to answer every challenge and every big moment with a big play and a big scoring drive. Hanging toe-to-toe with the Cowboys won't be a problem if this turns into a shootout, and while OSU has the better overall stats, the Sooners have the better passing game and are better equipped for the firefight. Defensively, OU might have been torched last week, but the secondary is far stronger than OSU's.

What To Watch Out For: Landry Jones never had a chance. Oklahoma was coming into last year's date with the Cowboys limping a bit, struggling to get by Iowa State, losing to Baylor, and with Jones failing to throw a touchdown pass in either game as he struggled without star receiver Ryan Broyles. Oklahoma State only came up with two sacks, but it was in Jones' face all game long, forcing him to throw for just 250 yards, no touchdowns and two picks on 50 passing attempts to go along with fumbling issues. He threw for 471 yards and four touchdowns in the win in 2010, but he also gave up three picks, and he didn't throw any scoring passes in the shutout in 2009. In all, Jones has given up five interceptions and hasn't been all that sharp, but this year he's coming into the game with a shot at going 3-1 against OU's rival. While interceptions have been an issue with five in the last four games, he has thrown 12 scoring passes in the last three.

What Will Happen: Be disappointed if this isn't a wild and crazy shootout. The Cowboys are humming with Clint Chelf throwing well and Joseph Randle quietly having another strong season, but in his home finale, Jones will throw for well over 400 yards as Oklahoma stays alive for the Big 12 title with a fun and wild win.

CFN Prediction: Oklahoma 44 … Oklahoma State 41
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Oklahoma -7 O/U: 72.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Beware of Mr. Baker, 1 – Life of Pi): 4